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This page last updated 24 August 2009
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 3 August to 16 August 2009

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Just taking a holiday from their church

As a schoolboy, I sometimes wondered why the school year always began in September. Logically, one should be entering a new form every January, I thought. Wherefore the illogicality? Apparently, greater minds than mine had also been exercised by that same conundrum, because in 1987, it was decreed that thenceforth, school years would coincide with calendar years (causing me to spend 4 terms instead of 3 in the first form, undergoing torture as the lowest form of life in the British boarding school system).

I later found out that the "long vac" holidays from July to September were a legacy of the Brits, who bequeathed schools and school years to us, that being the period when they and their fellow cold country inhabitants go off to pay homage to the great god Sun. Here, we don't have any holiday month, and very few can afford to go away on vacation.

But a few Anglican churches here are experiencing a similar movement of "holidayers" taking a break from their own church, and going in search of sun and surf in the church of the moment, wherever that may be. This is usually a church where the priest has managed to break out of the traditional Anglican mould,and catch a bit (or a lot) of the prevailing Pentecostal mood in the religious atmosphere here. Such holidaymakers, restless seekers after they-know-not-what, pour in to such free services in their hundreds, caught between the desire to feel modern (i.e Pentecostal), and the (admittedly not very strong) reluctance to leave the church they were born into. The worshippers in such "revival" churches are as disparate as those described in the article, and like them, they move on at the end of the season, i.e when the Vicar is transferred out, loses the flame, or when the Bishop has simply had enough.

Even though it places a bit more strain on the already fraying unity of the church, one is torn between whether holiday seasons like these should be more welcome or less so.

Obi Udeariry
St. Andrew's, Aladinma, Owerri
3 August 2009

(Editor: our understanding is that the tradition of school holidays during the summer months came from the need to have children help with the work of planting and cultivating and harvesting, and that as soon as the harvest was done, children returned to school. We can see how in a country that has no particular harvest season, the notion of summer holidays might be odd.)

Beware the vacationistas

No doubt someone else has mentioned this, but wouldn't the noun equivalent for "taking a vacation" be "vacationers?"

Kris Lewis
Trinity Episcopal Church
Seymour, Connecticut, USA
5 August 2009

(Editor: Other writers also suggested 'vacationist'. Our problem is that we don't notice anyone actually using such words in North America. Our unabridged dictionaries are chock-a-block with words that don't get used, so this is not unusual.)

Love letters

I love AO. I am, an expression that appears to have become popular nowadays in Anglicanism, a "cradle Anglican" and have been for 77 years. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore to read in this week's news reports, in a wonderful article about the late Deaconess Harriet Bedell, the following statement. "Unlike the Roman Catholic church, which requires proven miracles of its saints, the Episcopal church picks saints based on other criteria." I was unaware of this fact, and without boasting, I have been "involved" in my churches over the years. Now wouldn't this be a great subject for AO for a future front page article? Or perhaps some reader/historian could enlighten me.

David T. Brown
Church of St.John The Divine, Courtenay B.C.
Fanny Bay, British Columbia, CANADA
6 August 2009

You are quite correct. Anglicans online is not "snarky". You are clear, fair and intensely interesting. Keep up the great work.

Love, JC.

JC Eriksen
St. Clare's, Blairsville
Blairsville, Georgia, USA
11 August 2009

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Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.



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